Published in the same year after his death, Trinh Cong Son 1939-2001 is a collection of essays on the life and work of one of the greatest Vietnamese songwriters of all time written by his closed friends and confidants around the world.
Songwriter Van Cao kicks off a short piece as an introduction. Painter Buu Chi reflects on the last memory before TCS laid down to rest. Poet Trinh Cung shares their friendship and the fortunate of having TCS composed his poem titled “Cuoi Cung Cho Mot Tinh Yeu.” Philosopher Thai Thi Kim Lan points out his love for Hue in his songs including “Nhin Nhung Mua Thu Di,” “Tnh Nho,” “Diem Xua,” “Mua Hong” and “Moi Ngay Toi Chon Mot Niem Vui.” Singer Khanh Ly refers to him as “a half of her life.” Singer Hong Nhung thanks fate for allowing her to meet him. Law professor Cao Huy Tan breaks down TCS’s peculiar lyricism and his unorthodox wordplay.
Still, the best pieces are from TCS himself. From his philosophy on love, life and death to his personal reflections, we could understand why he writes music the way he did. Furthermore, who could reveal the inspiration and motivation responsible for the classics such as “Uot Mi,” “Diem Xua” and “Ha Trang” better than the man in his own words?